Mars (season 1)

release year: 2016
genre: space exploration drama
viewing setting: home DVD, 4/12-14/17

synopsis: This 6-episode miniseries goes back and forth between real-life scientists and space program veterans talking in 2016 about what it would take to successfully get to Mars and colonize it...and a fictional mission there in 2033.

impressions: The back-and-forth works because the real/2016 parts are current and relevant (and quite possibly correct) while the 2033 parts are dramatic and entertaining. As any such mission would, the Mars one has diversity, visionaries, bravery, dangerous levels of ambition and overconfidence, and of course all sorts of random problems, some of them huge.

acting: Jihae Kim has two roles, as twin sisters: one an astronaut-pilot, the other the head of Mission Control back on Earth. Olivier Martinez is the billionaire/visionary who backs the mission and constantly wants to expand it. Ben Cotton is the mission commander. Clementine Poidatz is the mission physician. Sammi Rotibi is the misson engineer. Alberto Ammann is another engineer-type. Anamaria Marinca is the mission geologist.

final word: This is about the best possible depiction of what the first Mars mission might be like. I look forward to the now-announced season two.

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